Does dopamine sensitization underlie the association between schizophrenia and drug abuse?
EM Tsapakis, O Guillin, RM Murray
Current Opinion in Psychiatry | Published : 2003
Drugs that release dopamine, such as amphetamines and cocaine, have long been known to be associated with schizophrenia. As Professor Stefanis pointed out many years ago, people with schizophrenia also commonly consume cannabis, which, like the psychostimulants, also enhances dopaminergic activity. Several theories have been put forward to explain the association between psychostimulants and cannabis on the one hand and schizophrenia on the other, notably the self-medication and vulnerability hypotheses. Recent evidence from both experimental and prospective studies supports the latter, and clearly demonstrates that the use of these drugs increases the risk of schizophrenia. Here we point ou..View full abstract